The days rolled by, as days aught to do. Soon enough, little Flora wasn't so little any more, she was up and running around, getting into everything she could get her hands on and generally looking as adorable as possible.
Morand, being retired with an open schedule, was more than happy to take up the role of babysitter and caregiver as Faith was eager to get back to work and Pete spent most of his time in the basement tinkering with his workbench.
The long days and working overtime paid off, however, as in a matter of a few short days Faith received the promotion she'd been waiting for. She was dead tired, but excited, as she left the facility as the firm's newest "Creature-Robot Creator". It was simply a fancy title for anyone who worked in the department which handled the mixing of two or more materials which wouldn't normally go together.
No matter how many hours she worked or how tired she was, there was always time for little Flora. Their favorite thing to do together was reading a story before bedtime. Faith relished this quiet time alone with her daughter.
She hadn't known what to expect when having a child, would she be torn between her work and her family? Would she feel like she was neglecting the child by leaving for large portions of the day? Would her research take her away from a family that needed her?
The end result, however, would be worth it, she thought as she once again made her way to the large imposing house in the middle of the foggy swamp on the other side of town. She had made it her mission in life to help people, to better their lives in whatever way she could manage.
This was the first of what she hoped would be many meetings of this nature.
"Faith!" Drake exclaimed, "I sensed you approaching. It has been awhile. How are you?" the Vampire asked, welcoming her into the well-appointed home.
She smiled at the unchanged man, "I've been great!" Once she realized she was openly staring at him she apologized, "Sorry, I just still can't get over how you never look any different, no matter how many years pass by."
He looked at her with kindness tinged with remorse, "Yes, I do get that reaction a lot. Part of the curse I have been living with all these many many years," he said, a small smile on his lips.
She smiled back, "I have something for you that might make your upcoming years a little more bearable," she said as she passed to him the gift she'd brought along.
"No, it can not be. This is not... Is it?" Drake asked her in disbelief, "You were successful in your research?"
Faith could barely contain her excitement, "I was! I was beginning to doubt it was even possible, but right now in your hands you hold the first crop ever of Plasma Fruit. You won't have to feed off of humans ever again, Drake. You're free from causing fear and harm!" she explained, beaming with pride at the reaction she was receiving.
Drake seemed to be on the verge of tears, "I can not tell you how much this means to me," he expressed. "From the day I was turned, I have loathed causing harm to others. Thoughts of ending this half-life crossed my mind many times. You have saved me, Faith. I owe you for the rest of eternity."
The normally confident woman was left speechless by his gratitude.
"From this day on," he continued, "I vow to be the protector of the Cagley family legacy. You, and all your descendents, are now considered to be a part of the Dracul family."
They continued talking about the details of the work Faith had done, the properties and theories behind the plant and its capabilities of sustaining Vampires as a source of nutrition.
With the seeds from her personal plant, she had set up a private greenhouse at the laboratory that would do nothing but supply the Vampire population with the life-giving produce.
From there the conversation turned less serious as Faith updated Drake about her family life, about her marriage to Pete as well as the birth of Flora, whom she had named partly because of her obsession with this successful research project.
"I believe she would thank you," Drake laughed, "that you didn't name her Plasma."
When Faith finally made it home it had gotten pretty late, yet Pete was still up and in the shower. Feeling on a high after what she'd accomplished that day she couldn't wait to share the news with him.
"You should have seen his face," she told her showering husband after she'd explained where she'd been, "it was like looking into the face of someone who has completely been reborn! A whole new life has just opened up to him, one he didn't even know was possible. I'm just so happy!" she squealed.
"That's amazing, honey, I'm so proud of you!" he replied over the rush of the water, "why don't you come on in here and show me how happy you are," he laughed.
Pete had been all-consumed by a project himself lately, working all day and most of the nights. He was the type of guy that once he had an idea in his head, he had to get it out into the world and wouldn't rest until he was finished.
After many days of sweat, swearing and going out for more scrap, he tightened the last screw of his top secret project.
Once he was finished, he could only stand and gape in awe at his invention. It wasn't the most beautiful thing to look at, but it wasn't created as art. It had a function. One that he had to admit he was slightly nervous to try out.
Here goes nothin', he thought to himself as he punched the numbers on the keypad.
The doors opened, revealing the bright glow of a time-portal. Without a moment's hesitation, Pete made the jump and disappeared inside, the doors sliding closed quickly behind him. He was now a master of time.
While Pete was navigating his newly discovered time stream, Faith was busy with the less impressive task of potty training.
As Faith was waiting for the peanut to finish, she started to feel a little sick to her stomach. Uh, oh, she thought to herself, this nausea was an all too familiar feeling.
She found herself back at the kitchen table, in the middle of the night, devouring a gallon of ice cream when Pete came up from the basement and grabbed himself a plate of leftover waffles.
He wasn't sure where to start or that he even believed what he'd just done and seen. He was about to form into words his experience when he looked over at Faith.
"Oh my god, how long have I been gone?" he asked in a rush as he bolted from his chair and pulled her up. "I can't believe it! We're having another baby!" he shouted.
"Shh, you'll wake up Flora," his wife teased, pulling him into a hug. "I was going to tell you sooner, but you weren't downstairs when I looked."
He looked at her with what appeared to be a little guilt in his eyes, but said, "Well, I'm here now, and I'm thrilled beyond belief."
Faith gave him a kiss as she lead him upstairs to their bed.
"Pete, why do you smell like a barn?"
Title / Cannabis Corpse